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Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin [Krasssimira Stoyanova, Simon Keenlyside, Elena Maximova] [Opus Arte: OABD7132D] [Blu-ray] [2013]

Simon Keenlyside , Krassimira Stoyanova , Kasper Holten    Exempt   Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £29.54 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin [Krasssimira Stoyanova, Simon Keenlyside, Elena Maximova] [Opus Arte: OABD7132D] [Blu-ray] [2013] + Puccini: La Fanciulla Del West [Nina Stemme, John Lundgren, Aleksandrs Antonenko] [Euroarts: 2072594] [Blu-ray] [2013] + Verdi: Un Ballo In Maschera [Massimiliano Pisapia, Franco Vassallo, Chiara Taigi, Riccardo Chailly] [Euroarts: 2055107] [Blu-ray] [2013]
Price For All Three: £69.03

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Product details

  • Actors: Simon Keenlyside, Krassimira Stoyanova, Pavol Breslik, Peter Rose, Robin Ticciati
  • Directors: Kasper Holten
  • Writers: Piotr Tchaikovsky
  • Producers: The Royal Opera
  • Format: Classical, Widescreen
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Sep 2013
  • Run Time: 154 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00E1C4SB0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,234 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Tchaikovsky
EUGENE ONEGIN
Royal Opera House



Tatyana Krassimira Stoyanova
Eugene Onegin Simon Keenlyside
Olga Elena Maximova
Lensky Pavol Breslik
Prince Gremin Peter Rose
Madame Larina Diana Montague

Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Conductor Robin Ticciati
Director Kasper Holten

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, February 2013

Kasper Holten's inaugural production as Director of Opera for The Royal Opera returns to Pushkin's verse novella to reveal the shadows of memory which haunt Tchaikovsky's lyric tragedy. Using doubles to suggest the paths taken, or not taken, by its two impulsive protagonists, Holten gives eloquent voice to the loss and regret that lies at the heart of Eugene Onegin. Simon Keenlyside and Krassimira Stoyanova bring both experience and dynamic energy to the pair of protagonists, while the youthful, 'heartrending' tenor of Pavol Breslik and the idiomatic sweep of Robin Ticciati's 'inspired' conducting (The Independent) were enthusiastically received at the premiere of this visually opulent staging.

Running time: 154 minutes
Subtitles EN/FR/DE/IT/JP/KR
Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Product Description

OA 7132D; OPUS ARTE - BBC - Inghilterra; Classica Lirica

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doubled up and twice as good 5 Sep 2013
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
The very nature of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin is one that often makes it difficult to cast and present. The opera is all about the arrogance, impetuosity and naivety of youth seen refracted through a lifetime of regret. As such, it has the near impossible task of needing performers capable of expressing both youthful idealism and the regret that comes with experience in the same person and - as if that wasn't difficult enough - express both positions almost simultaneously. Tchaikovsky's remarkable highly romantic musical score is able to do that, but finding singers who have the exact balance of youth and experience needed to express and actually sing the challenging roles is rather more difficult.

If it were a film, it would simply be a matter of just casting younger actors to play the youthful roles and then bring in experienced stars to play their older counterparts. In the opera house it's not possible - or at least not common - to cast in this way, and certainly not for roles like those in Eugene Onegin that have very specific singing and continuity demands. For the Royal Opera House production, Kasper Holten has opted for using doubles for Onegin and Tatyana, employing dancers to play their younger selves, and having them both on the stage together in order to allow those interlocking sentiments of youth and experience to play out simultaneously in reflection. As a response to the themes and the actual music itself it's a valid idea, but it's one that is rather more difficult to pull off theatrically.

It's not as if this kind of cast needs the additional dramatic support. Krassimira Stoyanova in particular is just phenomenal, delivering a sensitive and deeply nuanced performance that works well with the concept.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good version 27 Jan 2014
By Moncho
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is quite a good version of my favorite opera. Some of tye voices are splendid and the "mise en scene" is not excentric as many of the current versions.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved everything about it. 23 Jan 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A fantastic story of opportunities missed and taken and the consequences of both. Excellent performances from everyone; brilliantly staged and imaginatively projected. The best version of this opera ever.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doubled up and twice as good 4 Oct 2013
By Keris Nine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
The very nature of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin is one that often makes it difficult to cast and present. The opera is all about the arrogance, impetuosity and naivety of youth seen refracted through a lifetime of regret. As such, it has the near impossible task of needing performers capable of expressing both youthful idealism and the regret that comes with experience in the same person and - as if that wasn't difficult enough - express both positions almost simultaneously. Tchaikovsky's remarkable highly romantic musical score is able to do that, but finding singers who have the exact balance of youth and experience needed to express and actually sing the challenging roles is rather more difficult.

If it were a film, it would simply be a matter of just casting younger actors to play the youthful roles and then bring in experienced stars to play their older counterparts. In the opera house it's not possible - or at least not common - to cast in this way, and certainly not for roles like those in Eugene Onegin that have very specific singing and continuity demands. For the Royal Opera House production, Kasper Holten has opted for using doubles for Onegin and Tatyana, employing dancers to play their younger selves, and having them both on the stage together in order to allow those interlocking sentiments of youth and experience to play out simultaneously in reflection. As a response to the themes and the actual music itself it's a valid idea, but it's one that is rather more difficult to pull off theatrically.

It's not as if this kind of cast needs the additional dramatic support. Krassimira Stoyanova in particular is just phenomenal, delivering a sensitive and deeply nuanced performance that works well with the concept. When you see the youthful idealism and romanticism embodied in the expressions and the fluid movements of dancer Vigdis Hentze Olsen during Stoyanova's moving account of the letter scene - the older Tatyana regretful of her younger counterpart's painful naivety - it does actually enhance the scene and reflect those contradictory sentiments. Simon Keenlyside is a marvellous actor as well as a fine singer in this role, but the look of nervous excitement on the young Onegin (Thom Rackett) as he picks up a duelling pistol, oblivious to the reality of what he is about to do, while the older Onegin looks on with painful regret and unable to avert the disaster, is also justified and well handled. The death of Lensky, leaving Pavol Breslik lying there at the front of the stage through the remainder of the opera, doesn't work quite so well. The dead branch that he symbolically drags onto the stage would have been enough on its own.

Any such reservations however are few and minor when taken alongside the evident consideration behind the directorial choices elsewhere in this Eugene Onegin. The Polonaise is more than just a beautiful interlude here, throwing Keenlyside's Onegin with abandon into the midst of swirling ballet dancers that he attempts to grasp but is unable to hold. Tainted by his past and his behaviour, it seems like everything he touches just dies in his hands. Mia Stensgaard's set - a framing set of doors, opened or closed as necessary, with suitable backgrounds, colouration and lighting that enhances the moods - is also highly effective in establishing a consistent look and feel for the work. Tchaikovsky's score is superbly performed by the orchestra of the Royal Opera House under Robin Ticciati, who recognises its majestic romanticism but also its aching intimacy.

The colours and tones of the production design come over well on the Blu-ray, as does the music and singing. In addition to an optional introduction and interval feature, Kasper Holten provides a full length director's commentary, which is uncommon on an opera BD. I don't think the production needs explaining, but considering the unwarranted criticism the production received when shown at Covent Garden, the director clearly feels the need to clarify his intentions. Perhaps this is another case like the ROH Robert le Diable, which may indeed not have worked in the theatre, but its qualities can better be appreciated in close-up on film. The booklet contains a lovely insightful essay on the work itself by Marina Frolova-Walker that considers how Tchaikovsky's music expresses the content. Subtitles on the Blu-ray disc are English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Korean.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Borscht Belt 18 Oct 2013
By David Cady - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I saw this production broadcast in HD a couple of weeks ago and was less than impressed. Once again we have a director, Kasper Holten, who seems not to trust his material. Or perhaps he felt that, given the advanced age of his leads, Krassimira Stoyanova and Simon Keenlyside, he had to DO something. The "something" in this case is double cast the characters of Tatiana and Onegin. In addition to Stoyanova and Keenlyside (who are both in fine voice), the stage is populated with two young, beautiful performers who act out the story as the former stand on the sidelines and sing. This works well in the letter scene, primarily because the mute Tatiana, a gorgeous dancer named Vigdis Hentze Olsen, is superb at capturing the character's torment as she writes her confession of love to the callous Evgeny. If this were the ballet "Onegin," I can't imagine a better person to embody the role. The conceit, however, completely falls apart in the second act duel scene, where it is the mute Onegin who carries out the duel as Keenlyside is forced to emote awkwardly and caress poor Lensky (?!) -- a splendid Pavol Breslik -- who has just dragged an enormous tree limb onstage. And did I mention that Lensky's corpse remains onstage throughout the ENTIRE rest of the opera for everyone to walk around?

Seriously? This is an almost perfect opera, simply conceived in seven short(ish) scenes, that needs no directorial folderol to achieve its maximum dramatic impact. It's all there in the score, one of the most passionate, emotionally complex in all of opera. Why undermine the opera's final moments by having Prince Gremin walk onstage and witness his wife's admission of love to Onegin? Do we really need to see Keenlyside "dance" with a bevy of maidens during the Polonaise to chart his moral deterioration? Compared to how Robert Carsen treated this section of the piece in his brilliant 1997 production, this is time-filling drivel. Everything in Carsen's stark, spare, visually stunning production, in fact, puts this one to shame. Even the Met's current "Onegin" by Deborah Warner (also broadcast in HD recently), despite its staid literalness, runs rings around this one. In both cases you have directors who trust the material and their stars to tell the story without devices and gimmicks. They're intelligent, psychologically sound treatments that do honor to the opera. The Carsen version is available with Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Renee Fleming and it doesn't get any better than that. On March 4 The Met will release theirs with Netrebko and Mariusz Kwiecien, two singers gifted and young enough not to need doubles sharing the spotlight with them. I would certainly purchase either before this one; whichever you choose, you'll get to experience the intensity and power of "Eugene Onegin" unadulterated, as Tchaikovsky intended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfull 30 Dec 2013
By chacha - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The first time I saw this opera I love it and I've seen it two more times and each time I like it more. Very good performance, lovely voices and really it is a very good opera.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Onegin! 11 Mar 2014
By Jerry Dohnal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Wow. I have seen Eugene Onegin both in performance and on DVD, but have never fully appreciated and understood the psychology and emotion of this piece as I have with this performance. Indeed, I don't think I have ever "heard" Tchaikovsky's beautiful music as I did here. The "conceit" of having younger versions of Tatyana and Onegin on stage at strategic and emotionally-charged moments in the opera works wonderfully. Indeed, it nicely deals with the fact that Krassimira Stoyanova and Simon Keenlyside would have trouble portraying their younger selves (given they were 50 and 53 respectively at the time of this performance). So we have the older Tatyana and Onegin looking back on the events that indelibly changed their lives and destiny, nicely explained in a set piece during the overture. It also allows for some very interesting stage positioning in the letter scene and duel, that serve to emphasise and expound the psychology of those scenes. One of the reviewers has bemoaned the presence of Lensky's corpse onstage throughout Act 3. I actually thought that was very clever, because it is easy to forget just what a horrific and life-changing event underlies the relationship between Tatyana and Onegin - one that neither of them can really forget (no matter how hard they try). This is a near perfect performance of this opera, by a phenomenal cast. There will always be naysayers. I do not like experimentation for experimentation's sake, but in this case the director has thoughtfully added to our understanding of this wonderful work.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I Read More Reviews 6 Jan 2014
By James Clow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I read the one Amazon customer review of this DVD that was posted before I ordered it. The review and comments on it were so negative that I decided to check for more review sources. BBC Music Magazine had one review and it was totally favorable. Then I found several interviews of audience members following a Royal Opera House performance. These were mixed with a few glowing comments and others that were confused. I found the production to be sublime, not only the outstanding artists' performances but also the staging and orchestra. I then viewed the "Extra" material which is worthwhile. Although Holten's comments were useful and made sense, they were too long. The idea of presenting the story through Tatyana's reflections upon her youthful love for Onegin years after he rejected her worked exceptionally well.
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